It’s a beautiful thing to see The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints grow, especially in these troubled times. The State of Utah is also growing due to its economic stability and job opportunities, and as it becomes recognized around the country as a bastion of American values and decency.
With population growth come more missionary opportunities and more converts for the Church, but growth can present its own challenges as well. Where are we going to put them all? Many of the church buildings have 3 or more wards meeting in them. While our Scout camps and facilities can’t help on Sunday, we can give a helping hand on weeknights and weekends.
In the Order of the Arrow handbook, it says this about camping and outdoor activities:
“Camping is one of the methods of Scouting, but not the purpose of Scouting. Scouting’s aims are to build character, citizenship, and fitness. When Scouts (and others) go camping this growth follows as a natural result. Patrol and troop camping are models and a testing ground for life in society. In a small group, each member is dependent on others, and thus they each learn to accept responsibility and exercise good judgment. Scouts who camp will sooner or later come face to face with practical applications of the Scout Oath and Law. Cheerfulness, trustworthiness, courtesy, helpfulness, and all the central virtues of Scouting are necessary in camp and in society. Life in the open is a natural teacher of these essential survival skills. Camping is an effective tool in helping achieve the aims of Scouting. The principles of Scouting are central to any kind of successful camping.”
As a century-long partner with the LDS Church, we in Utah Scouting are keenly aware of the values, goals and objectives of the Church, and the vast majority of our Council volunteers and professional staff are themselves members of the Church. With Scout Executive Dave Pack’s vision, we have been able to build our programs and our facilities to much more effectively match the goals and needs of the Church.
Camp development in our 12 properties around Utah has increased with this in mind. We are now building Stake Activity Centers where stakes and wards can come together and experience the spiritual awareness that comes from meeting and sleeping out among our Heavenly Father’s creations.
To rent a facility, contact John Gailey at email@example.com.
The ability to sit around a picnic table or a campfire and look up at the stars and realize that we are just seeing a microscopic part of God’s wonders is awe-inspiring, and then to realize that we are at the top of that list is humbling. Seeing your bishop, Relief Society president, Primary president, elders quorum president, Young Men president or Young Women president in these special outdoor settings wearing something other than a suit or dress can help you see a different side to them and give you more opportunities to observe them as role models.
These are chances for you as a church leader and those you have stewardship over to grow closer as you spend time together putting up tents, canoeing across a lake, watching deer in the meadow, helping each other overcome fears on a high ropes course, and seeing the firelight reflect in their eyes as you hold testimony meeting around the campfire. Chapels and churches are built to facilitate Sabbath day services and Sacramental ordinances, but from the beginning nature was given as a gift from God to man.
Contact us to see how we can help you set up a special, memorable youth conference, elders quorum outing, Primary day camp, Relief Society dinner, Wednesday night Young Men/Young Women activity night, or girls’ camp. We are so much more now than your father’s Scout camp. We are your door to experience God’s gift of nature.
For more information and questions about your LDS camping or general camping needs, please contact Dave Johnson at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: David A. Johnson | Camping Director, Utah National Parks Council